Director Vijay has a knack for optimizing movies from other languages and tailor them to suit the Tamil audiences. I liked his previous movie Madarasapatinam a lot though it had small doses of desi flavored Titanic and Lagaan injected into the script. So naturally I went in for Deivathirumagal with loads of expectations as even the review in Behindwoods praised the movie a lot. They even gave it the same rating as that of Aaranya Kandam which in my opinion is the best movie to grace Tamil cinema this year. However I came out of the theaters with mixed reactions. The following reasons are what I felt that worked against the movies advantage.
1. Laborious Pacing: The first half of the movie had literally no plot but to build upon the relationship between the father and daughter. Though the performances were rock solid, the pacing was inconsistent with the screenplay hovering aimlessly. M.S Bhaskar’s character and part in the movie was totally out of context and just acted as a filler to reach the half time mark. Also the scenes detailing the bond between Vikram and Sara were not strong enough to establish an emotional connection with the characters.
2. Too many songs: It’s high time we did away with songs from movies if they don’t warrant them. What is the need for musical numbers in a movie about a person with an intellect of a 5 year old? When I felt the movie was actually going smoothly, Vikram suddenly burst out into a musical number about him becoming a father. It was really out of place and reduces the immersion factor from the movie. That’s not the end of it. The movie has around 6-7 songs all misplaced within minutes of each other. The ‘ore oru oorukula’ song was the only song in the movie which I felt was a mandate to the subject. The other songs just tested my patience. If you want to show your hero as a challenged person then stick to it instead of compromising and giving him the ability to sing.
3. Too much of a good thing is good for nothing: I really like Vikram’s acting but in this movie though his performance was astounding, it was mentally taxing to watch the character for a long time. By the end of the first hour I had enough of Krishna for my life time. There are very few interesting scenes to capitalize on his acting potential and most scenes just had him doing the same routine again and again. By the end of the first half I was begging to see Anushka-Santhanam on screen back again.
4. Lack of logic: It’s not something new that logic goes out for a toss in Tamil movies. And I would gladly forgive some scenes like Vikram raising a toddler by himself, or returning the kid to her grandfather quoting suspension of disbelief. But some scenes were totally out of place. For one is it not immoral for someone to force a person with an intellect of a 5 year old into a marital relationship and get impregnated by him? And the highlight was when Anushka sings a romantic duet when Vikram hugs her in a fit of happiness. It shattered the character which was portrayed in good light till that time.
5. I watched the original: For people who watched the original 'I am Sam' or its desi copy 'Main Aisa Hi Hoon' will find nothing new in Deivathirumagal. At least the Hindi version had the guts to not portray the characters with shades of grey but here all the characters are sugar coated with an extra layer of goodness that makes it more of a fantasy tale than anything.
I would not call Deivathirumagal a bad movie. It has its own moments of brilliance. I loved the Anushka-Santhanam combo and they are a big reason for me to sit through this movie. G.V Prakash Kumar’s BGM was brilliant and the cues were spot on during the emotional scenes. The climax is a big strength to the movie and the performances are uniformly good.
On the whole it is an above average movie but the overall reaction to this motion picture was disappointing. I would rate this movie the same as that of Avan Ivan. You can watch it once for the performances.